Her Employer Refused to Accommodate Her Disability Requests and Then Put Her on a Leave of Absence as Retaliation. So She Had to Stand Up for Herself!

This retail worker partook in some malicious compliance against the company she worked for after they refused to accommodate her disability. Her story is hot off the press and makes for a great read!

Walmart Employee

Our protagonist, RC, had been working at Walmart as a full-time apparel employee for quite some time before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Unfortunately, RC had Grand-Mal Epilepsy that started in her mid-20s, around 2015.

However, she did not let this hold her back and continued to work at Walmart. In fact, she was even understanding of other people’s disabilities and tried to work with them as much as possible.

When the pandemic hit, RC was deemed an “Essential Employee” and had to go to work despite the risks involved. She also had to deal with anti-maskers and worry about her parents, who also worked in retail.

Despite these challenges, RC managed to get herself promoted to the Digital Shopping Department by transferring stores and pointing out certain key skills she had that were really useful in retail in 2021.

Grand-Mal Epilepsy

However, RC had to make certain accommodations due to her epilepsy.

She politely asked her department manager for the minimal requirements of being able to take medication at work and not having to bring orders out to cars because she lacked what’s known as an “aura.”

This is because RC cannot sense seizures coming, and Grand Mal + busy parking lot at work seems like a bad idea.

Her department manager agreed to these conditions as long as RC did other work to help out the Digital Team instead. RC thought this was completely reasonable and agreed to it.

Aura Symptoms

Unfortunately, the Personnel Department person at Walmart seemed to have a difficult time remembering about RC’s condition.

Despite RC bringing in medical notes from her neurologist for her file, pointing out her condition more than once on why they shouldn’t schedule her solo, and having her department manager talk to the Personnel Department person, the Personnel Department person continued to forget about RC’s condition over the next year.

The issue came to a head when the Personnel Department person scheduled RC completely solo for a closing shift. RC noticed this and texted her Department Lead about it.

She followed the official suggestion of the Personnel Department person, despite her thoughts that Corporate Walmart was likely even dumber than the Personnel Department person about basic disabilities.

Disability Allowances

RC only asked for the exact same things she asked her department manager for, which were both very logical and minimal accommodation requests.

However, as RC suspected, Walmart’s Sedgwick said, “We can’t do this unless you change departments.”

All departments suggested either wouldn’t work due to time and/or location, or they were back at the same level as Apparel, which would lower RC’s position and pay.

After a few days, Sedgwick put RC on an automatically placed LOA (leave of absence) without her permission. This was “to allow her to figure out what she should do” over the next four months.

Short-Term Disability Insurance

RC called up the Walmart Benefit Center to ask about this. As of late 2019, Walmart signed all of their employees up for free-to-the-employees Short-Term Disability Insurance without officially telling them.

RC filed to get this insurance to pay for her entire LOA, politely explained her situation to a total of three people, and was given the Short-Term Disability payments, with backpay for exactly when they put her on leave!

RC decided that she’d rather have her paycheck and insurance stick around for a while despite Walmart & Sedgwick being idiotic.

In the end, RC quit Walmart after having gotten holiday employment with Target for two months. It was a difficult decision to make, but RC felt like she had no choice.

Didn’t Accommodate Disability

She had worked throughout the pandemic for the company that had promoted her, and then they decided not to accommodate her disability.

It was not just that they didn’t accommodate her, but that they didn’t accommodate such a basic, reasonable request.

RC’s story is a prime example of how important it is to stand up for oneself, especially when it comes to matters of disability accommodation in the workplace.

Walmart may have lost a valuable employee, but RC gained the satisfaction of knowing that she didn’t let Walmart’s lack of compromise get the best of her.

Walmart Lost Out

And while Walmart may have thought they won in the short term by putting RC on an LOA, they ended up paying for it in the long term by having to pay her Short-Term Disability Insurance.

In the end, RC emerged as the true winner, having stood up for herself and gotten what she deserved despite the odds being against her.

Redditors enjoyed this woman’s tale of malicious compliance. One Reddit user said, “I’m in the same group. My TCs (clonic tonic) don’t present with an aura, well, not to my knowledge. I can feel my focal awareness, though. I wouldn’t want to work for Walmart or, hell, any big named box store. They don’t care about the employees, just about making money. Good for you on using your paid LOA to find another job. Enjoy your new employment, and be safe and well.”

What do you think about her tale? She won in the end, but should she have to fight?

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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Deutschlandreform. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Reddit